- Awadhi cuisine
Awadhi Cuisine is from the city of
Lucknowwhich is the capital of the state of Uttar Pradeshlocated in Central-South Asia and Northern India), and the cooking patterns of the city are similar to those of Central Asia, the Middle East, and Northern Indiaas well. The cuisine consists of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Awadhhas been greatly influenced by Mughal cooking techniques, and the cuisine of Lucknow bears similarities to those of Kashmirand Punjab, and the city is famous for its Nawabi foods.
The bawarchis and rakabdars of Awadh gave birth to the dum style of cooking or the art of cooking over a slow fire, which has become synonymous with Lucknow today. [http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20030713/spectrum/main2.htm] Their spread would consist of elaborate dishes like
kebabs, kormas, biryani, kaliya, nahari-kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali rotis and warqi parathas. The richness of Awadh cuisine lies not only in the variety of cuisine but also in the ingredients used like mutton, paneer, and rich spicesincluding cardamomand saffron.
Persianterm, literally means a meticulously laid-out ceremonial dining spread. It is customary in Awadh to sit around and share the Dastarkhwan. Laden with the finest and the most varied repertoire of the khansamas (chefs), the Dastarkhwan of the raeis (the rich) were called Khasa (special).
Lucknow is proud of its
Kebabs. The Kakori Kebabs, Galawat ke Kebabs, Shami Kebabs, Boti Kebabs, Patili-ke-Kebabs, Ghutwa Kebabs and Seekh Kebabs are among the known varieties.
The Seekh Kebab has long been considered a piece de resistance in the Awadhi dastarkhwan. Introduced by the Mughals it was originally prepared from beef mince on
skewers and cooked on charcoal fire. Now lamb mince is preferred for its soft texture.
The 100-year old Tunde ke Kebab in Chowk is the most famous outlet for choicest Kebabs even today. Tunda Kebab is so named because it was a specialty of an one-armed chef. The uniqueness of this kebab is the masala which is a zealously guarded family secret and prepared by women in the family. It is said to incorporate 160 spices.
Kakori kebab is considered blessed since it was originally made in the place by the same name in the
dargahof HazratShah Abi Ahder Sahib with divine blessings.
Shami Kebabwas the most important of them all. Made from mince meat, with chopped onion and coriander and green chillies usually added to the mixture, the kebabs are round patties filled with spicy surprises and the tangy raw green mango. The best time to have them is May when the fruit of the mango tree is in its infancy. In other seasons the kairi can be substituted with kamrakh or karonda both having a tart flavour reminiscent of the raw mango. A variant made without any admixture or binding agents and comprising just the minced meat and the spices is the Galawat kebab.
An unusual offering is the Pasanda Kebab, piccata of lamb marinated and then
sautéedon a griddle.
As wheat is the staple food of the state, breads are very significant.
Breadsare generally flat breads; only a few varieties are raised breads. The breads are of different types and made in various ways; Tandoori Naan, or naanbaked in a tandoor, tandoori roti, kulcha, lachha paratha
Winters are dedicated to
halwas of all kinds which came from Arabiaand Persiato stay in India. There are several varieties of these, prepared from different cereals, such as gram flour, sooji, wheat, nuts and eggs. The special halwa or halwa sohan which has four varieties, viz Papadi, Jauzi, Habshi and Dudhiya is prepared especially well in Lucknow.
The Jauzi Halwa Sohan is a hot favorite even today, but the art of preparing it is confined to only a few households. Prepared for the most part from germinated wheat, milk, sugar, saffron, nuts etc., it has love and patience as its vital ingredients.
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